Pushy Presents

My first introduction to the “push present” was a Bentley. No, no, no, not for me. That’s crazy talk. I saw it on The Real Housewives of Orange County as the wealthy mother zoomed around town in her new “baby bauble” (although really, a Bentley is hardly a bauble).

Statistics show the “push present,”  a present a partner gives to the mother after giving birth to their child is a growing trend. I’m curious as to who this trend growing amongst? Celebs like Rachel Zoe and Mariah Carey made the push present a thing, but are celebs the only ones raking in the gifts at birth? Are we the common folk growing this trend as well?

To me, the term “push present” feels well, pushy. It feels greedy. It feels entitled. It feels like the baby is secondary.

Proponents of the push present say things like “yes, the baby is gift enough but…” the but makes me feel like well, a butt for thinking a present is required for experiencing labor.

As one mom put it, “Labors really tough. It’s nice to have something to look forward to apart from the child of course.” Yes ma’am. It is really tough. But it’s more than just “one of dem days that a girl goes through.” It’s a monumental and special part of life that feels weakened by an “I had a baby and look at this gift I got!” moment.

Many women have being doing the labor sans gifts for centuries. While I believe in having things to look forward to, I know the thought of meeting my child at the end of labor was motivating me through each swear inducing contraction (I joke, sort of…), not a bracelet.

I’m just sayin’ this.

A present isn’t inherently greedy. If a husband wants to give his wife a gift out of the kindness and thoughtfulness of his heart, I’m all for it. But he shouldn’t do it because he’s told to or it’s expected.

I think it’s thoughtful to surprise a new mum with a trip for two post baby or a sentimental token that could possibly be gifted to the new baby one day. Again though, that should happen of the spouse’s own free will and choice and not out of guilt because he didn’t have the “burden” of pregnancy and labor or the need for his wife to have an answer to what she received as a pushy present.

I’m also just sayin’ this.

Ladies, treat yo self. Labor is really though. Having a newborn is really tough. Be kind to yourself after birth.

If that means you want your gams massaged, your toes painted, or your house to “shine like the top of the Chrysler building” through the angelic cleaning hands of someone else, treat yo self. I just think those things should be separate from the birthing experience and not a reward for labor; but a nod that you are a human being who needs help at times and an occasional indulgence to make you feel like a woman.

Image: Bentley emblem via olgaru79 / Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Kristin

    On January 26, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Whoa. I had FOUR kids. I never got any presents for having them. I think it’s time to collect.

    If you think that’s bad, I know of a woman who was promised a significant gift if she lost all the baby weight within a specific amount of time after giving birth.

  2. by Kim

    On January 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

    My husbands version of a push present is to kick me out for an afternoon to myself when he is confident he can take care of baby for awhile. Keep your bentley, my gift is waaaay better!

  3. by Allison

    On January 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The woman I nanny for got a diamond bracelet after the birth of her son. A 10k diamond bracelet. Geeeeeze!

  4. by Betsy

    On January 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Not only did I not get a gift for having the baby, my ex husband thinks he’s entitled to have our daughter on her birthday every year!

  5. by Elysia

    On January 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I received a string of pearls, which also happened to be my daughter’s birth stone, after she was born. I didn’t ask for them, require them or expect them. My husband gave them to me because he wanted to. He, not I, felt like I deserved something special after a long pregnancy and child birth during which I experienced a great deal of pain and he experienced none. Yes, we got a beautiful baby girl from it and she was the best gift of all, but it was nice to see his genuine love and gratitude for what I did to bring her into the world.

  6. by Sydnie

    On January 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    My hubby was deployed for the birth of our daughter. He surprised me by sending me a baby girl charm for my charm bracelet and also paid for a maid service to come in and clean the house before his parents came out to meet our daughter. Sweet and thoughtful and completely unexpected.

  7. by Shannon

    On January 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    gender reveal parties, multiple baby showers, push presents, what’s next? A present for the husband for having good enough sperm to knock me up? lol

  8. by Bekka Besich

    On January 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Sydnie and Elysia,

    I all about these sweet, unexpected “push presents.” Kudos on their thoughtfulness.

  9. by Bekka Besich

    On January 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Shannon,

    I’m learning there’s a trend for EVERYTHING in pregnancy. Hardly anything surprises me anymore. Your comment made me laugh. I hope it doesn’t happen…

  10. by kat

    On January 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’d take a massage as a ‘push present’ heck yes! my back was sore for a month after my daughter!

  11. by Jaala

    On January 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    My husband was working out of town for all of the lamas classes and they told us of the “push present” trend…so I passed it on to my husband and we both shared a good laugh….but then I had my daughter on my birthday, although my daughter is the BEST present I would and could have ever hoped for, I was hoping he would have remember my birthday or “push present” :) a lil more then running to the store that morning-after being up all night in labor…but oh well, flowers and a card worked for me!! so I guess in the end, I will get a “Push Present” every year now that I think of it ;)

  12. by NoAdditives

    On January 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I get a push present, though it’s the same thing for each child, and it didn’t start out as being an actual push present. After our first child was born, I decided I wanted a mommy charm bracelet. Since she was born in October, my husband made the bracelet and charms with her name, birth stone, and a special symbol, my Christmas present. When our son was born in April, the charms for him were my Mother’s Day present. Our third was born in January, and the charms for her weren’t for any occasion, although its possible they were for valentine’s day which was a little outrageous in terms of gifts last year. Our next, and last, baby will be born in August, so the charms for him will definitely be a push present. It’s not over the top, they aren’t crazy expensive, and since I love to wear the bracelet when they aren’t with me, they’re more about the kids than they are about a special present for me.

  13. by Ginger

    On January 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I have had 4 kids – and my husband has given me diamonds for each one without prompt Or asking! He has just handed them to me once we are in the recovery stage of labor. I have a band- 4 of them for each of my kids that match with my current rings. It has been an amazing, surprising, and wonderful gift each time! Amazing! Not required but I LOVE it!

  14. by Jennifer

    On January 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    What happened to just bringing flowers? I don’t think it should required to give a present. Both of you have had a long pregnancy, your husband didn’t have the physical aches and pains of pregnancy but they heard about them, I know it isn’t the same but they do deserve some credit! The baby should be reward enough, just think of the women who want to go through this but can’t, we are blessed that we can experience it.

  15. by Bekka Besich

    On January 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Jennifer,

    That’s what I think about in terms of push presents, the woman who cannot experience pregnancy and labor. I wonder what they’d say about push presents.

  16. by Heidi

    On January 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Your article was surprisingly judgmental. Where demanding or expecting an expensive gift may seem like a little much, those women are probably used to that kind of treatment all of the time so it may not be so far fetched for them.
    I got a stand up paddle board for my push present. It wasn’t expected but it was so appreciated. After going through a pretty rough pregnancy where all of my energy and focus was on my daughter to be, it was nice to get something that was just for me. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving because it gives continually gives me an outlet where I can be alone and breathe while my husband watches our little one (The fact that its helping to shed the baby weight is a bonus!). After 9 months of pure selflessness, a little selfishness isn’t such a bad thing.

  17. by Maddie

    On January 28, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Really NO presents for any occasion should be expected. I think we all agree on that. But what we now call ‘push presents’ is a new American tradition that I think is a lovely celebration of the miracle of childbirth. I got a Juno Lucina pendant push present which is shaped like the Roman goddess who watched over mothers and women in childbirth, in-keeping with the history of push presents. It’s precious and will be handed down for generations. That’s why this is a lovely trend.

  18. by Sarah

    On January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Rather than a “push present”, I’ve heard a few women asking for a motherhood medal of valor, something to make up for their stretchmark battle scars. If I could have been given something with my firstborn, it would have been my voice. I had such a bad cold that I couldn’t even squeak and I wanted so bad for mine to be the first voice that my little one would hear calling her name. Be thankful for what your life bestows upon you; if you’re always asking for more, you’ll never truly be happy.

  19. by Heather

    On January 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

    My husband got me a sweet charm bracelet when our first son was born because he knows that for every special event in my life I have charms to celebrate and remember those moments. It was so sweet and wonderful and he is such a thoughtful wonderful man. Our second son is due in April and he’s already talking about a surprise for me. I think nothing is wrong with a small push present, especially when the husband does the picking out and surprises you with it. To me it shows that he loves you and wants to do something special for you, nothing wrong with that.

  20. by Bekka Besich

    On January 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Heidi,

    I agree that parts of my article are judgmental. I should be called out on assuming that some of the women who received extravagant push presents demanded them. With that said, I do think some women demand them and expect them and I don’t agree with that.

    Based on the comments, there are a lot of women who receive push presents that are thoughtful, unexpected, and wonderful. I applaud that. I like how they have turned “push presents” (a term I still don’t like) into something with a lot of meaning and value.

    I think the paddle board you received is downright awesome. I also freely admit that I’d accept a present at my child’s birth and like you, feel appreciative. Honestly, I think almost all women, even those who say the baby is enough, would agree that a thoughtful gift is awesome and wouldn’t turn it down.

    I think it’s about mentality. I disagree with the idea that it’s okay to be selfish. Here’s why. I don’t think it’s selfish to be recognized, to have an outlet, a place to be alone, or a reason for one’s husband to watch the kids while you do whatever the heck you please. I think that’s smart. And realistic. And healthy. That’s not selfish. Selflessness in parenthood doesn’t mean no time for yourself.

    Parenthood is about being selfless. (Heaven knows I work to curb my selfishness a lot. I’m not perfect by any means). But I think certain demands are selfish and damaging. I don’t want to teach my kids to be selfish. Demanding and expecting gifts is not something I want to teach them. I don’t want them to think they deserve or are entitled to certain things just because they did something hard. I don’t think you do either. I want to teach them to have balance in their lives for their family and themselves. I’m just saying that the mentality that it’s okay to be selfish leaves me feeling unsettled and I’d rather teach them about the thoughtful gift their dad got me at their birth out of love (like your husband did), or how he is so helpful and considerate by supporting my hobbies and dreams, than that selfishness is okay.

    I’m glad you read and I’m glad you commented.

    Bekka

  21. by amber

    On January 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I never heard of a push present with my first, so no gift there. I haven’t been able to get pregnant since (my first is now 9) so if the stars align and I am able to convince my husband to have baby #2, and am actually able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby – that will definitely be my present. On the other hand, I just talked to a friend who has 3 kids (2 girls and 1 boy) and she is very happy and wants to be done, but her husband is dying for another one (ironic huh lol :) Anyway, I was thinking that if he convinces her to try for baby #4, then that may be one of those cases where a push present might be earned and justified :)